Change for anyone, in general, can be confusing, misleading, and often resented if it has been introduced suddenly, for example, the recent coronavirus spread or the sudden demonetization we had on the 8th November 2016 in India. On the other, hand if change management is handled effectively in the organization and with the right approach results in successful project outcomes.
As rightly quoted by Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but that who can best manage change.”
McKinsey’s study reveals a lack of management support and employee resistance are the two top reasons for the failure of 70% of projects. (Boris Ewenstein, 2015)
It is often difficult being from an HR perspective to implement dramatic changes in your organization. Being in the position of a project manager gives you the privilege to handle both personal and business failures team by creating a successful change management plan. Let’s look at some of the change management steps that can help you to deliver successful projects:
This is the foremost important factor in any change management process. As a project manager, you need to focus on being transparent and sharing the right details without manipulating. It is a good practice to communicate effectively the truth about the project even if it leads to project failure. Having said this, implies you need to take care as to not bother the employees with irrelevant information. So before communicating with the team, decide exactly what is more important for the team to know at present and resolve any queries coming up from them.
It is always a good practice to present your information supported with facts and statistics rather than speculating the wrong things which can often demoralize the whole team. Also, try not to be optimistic about revealing the change to the team and follow an upfront and honest approach. This will have a positive effect on the team and make the employees’ trust and accept project change smoothly.
The employees need to be given feedback which will help them to excel in their current work. It needs to be done without diplomacy and bring to light their strengths and shortcomings that they might face due to the upcoming change management. The project, manager must share that the whole team is going to be affected by the upcoming change including him/her. They can share their experiences and walk through the concerns affecting them and how they are dealing with them. As we all know that ill- feelings can build low spirits and undermine the overall progress and the willingness to accept the change.
The key factor is to be as transparent as possible with all the employees throughout the change is implemented. As a manager, it is important to be available to resolve coming up from the team. Also, it is important to cater to remote teams and communicate with them more often through emails, phone, video chat, web-conferencing, and so on.
3. Effective problem-solving
So now your team is aware of the change is going to take place, so what next? Now we need to invite them and know their strategy about who they will handle changes it will affect them as an individual and a team. Often it found that employees may be resilient as to how to accept this change but it’s important to help your employees take ownership and responsibility for the transition which will make them feel in control as well as valued and important to the company’s future success. So it’s important to identify if the change is more important or no, such remote work due to COVID crises it is important for the office to remain close for an indefinite period, and remote work arrangements become a necessity for everyone.
4. Flexible follow-up
For any change to be implemented successfully the team needs to be committed tin embracing the new changes. This will only happen if they are quite focused and firm to achieve the goals and ensure that changes are implemented properly. Once a plan is set up as to how to embrace these new changes the team must be flexible to change their strategy and implement the changes in the right way. This requires the team to bring up any issues early on and giving the right follow-up to the management regularly to avoid resolving any major problems at the end of project deadlines.
5. Acknowledging and celebrating progress
As a project manager and a business leader, you can only set up rules and manage the upcoming changes in the company. But it is the teamwork on which the entire success depends. As a project manager, you need to make time for recognition as it encourages team members to continue to perform in other projects too. It also fosters a positive environment and inspires people to continue working with you on future projects. So as a project manager, you can treat your team with lunch, give them a day off to relax, or treating them with a good coffee and celebrating the go-live. Your teammates will appreciate this and you will enjoy it too. For this, follow communication through different channels like e-mail, face-to-face, conference calls, QnA sessions, etc.
So you have the most important change management steps you need to follow these important steps in helping your employees to accept change with the right approach.
- Boris Ewenstein, W. S. a. A. S., 2015. Mckinsey & Company. [Online] Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/leadership/changing-change-management